There’s been a mixed reaction from some political parties in the country to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Monday night that the country will remain on the Adjusted Level 3 Lockdown. This as the country surpassed the 1 million mark of cumulative cases of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The governing party, African National Congress (ANC) has called on South Africans to unite and work with the government to combat the spread of the coronavirus. South Africa has recorded more than 1,2 million coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

ANC National Spokesperson Pule Mabe says, “Given the time and period moment that the country is in, we ought to be seen acting in unison to be able to fight this pandemic. From what the President has articulated it does show that there is a great deal of work that is being done by our government as it related first to the sourcing of the vaccine and we need to all work together to  support the efforts of our own government to be able to combat and ultimately eliminate the spread of this pandemic.”

Vaccine rollout

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the government is not doing the one thing that will help stop coronavirus – immediately implement a vaccine rollout.

The DA has welcomed Ramaphosa’s announcement that 20 million vaccines have been secured through talks with manufacturers but says the President was vague on detail.

The official opposition says Ramaphosa Administration has dropped the ball when it comes to a rapid vaccine rollout and has appealed to the President to allow the private sector a greater role in assisting with vaccine provision.

 

Social relief

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has expressed its disapproval of the current lockdown regulations in the country, saying the regulations are ineffective. The party has also criticised the government for failing to provide social relief to South Africans during the lockdown.

The EFF’s Sinawo Tambo says the President’s address has left more questions than answers.

“The address by the president has left us with more questions than answers. Level 3 was instituted on the 28th of December and we have witnessed an average of almost 400 deaths per day. That means there is something that is not effective about the current level of lockdown that we’re in. There must be measures that are implemented that will be accompanied by social relief measures as well that should be put into place but none of this is addressed and of course taking us into confidence that vaccine measures will not be impacted by corruption.”

Ramaphosa announced that the curfew will now run from 21H00 pm in the evening until 05H00 am in the morning. Land borders have been closed.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation: 

20 million doses of vaccines

President Ramaphosa says South Africa has secured 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines which are expected to be delivered mainly in the first half of the year.

“We will make further announcements as we conclude our negotiations with vaccine manufacturers.”

He has urged South Africans to adhere to the safety regulations in order to reduce the transmission of the virus, adding that the government will also be embarking on a massive programme of vaccination in order to achieve immunity across the population.

“When enough people are vaccinated, we will reach what is known as ‘herd immunity’ or ‘population immunity’. This is when enough of the population is immune to the virus to provide indirect protection to those who aren’t immune, bringing the spread of the virus under control. “

The government’s vaccination strategy will reach all parts of the country. “It will be far more extensive than our HIV treatment programme or even our national, provincial and local elections in terms of the number of people who have to be reached within a short space of time.”

An explanation of what the new variant is: